Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood

Dr Mohammed Badie succeeded Mohammad Mahdi Akef - who became the first Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood to step down from his post - as the 8th Supreme Guide in January 2010. Badie is a pro fessor of veterinary pathology at Beni-Suef University in southern Egypt, but has been elected due to his work with the Administrative offices, Education Association, and subsequently, the International Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Islam ic political party in Egypt.

Leader of an Expansive Muslim Network
Dr Badie heads the oldest and largest Muslim social, religious, and political organization in existence. The Muslim Brotherhood forms the leading opposition party in many Muslim countries and has branches in most of the Muslim world, besides its base in Egypt. Members of the organization can be found in Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Al geria, Sudan, Somalia, Tunisia, and Libya, as well as the United States. In light of its expanse, Dr Badie is a strong advocate of internal unity within the Brotherhood as well as globally, between all Muslims.

Reformist Leader
Dr Badie represents a conservative shift in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. Due to his background in education and religious conservatism, analysts predict that he will empha size the Brotherhood’s social work, moving away from an overly political and activist program. Though he has been imprisoned in the past on multiple occasions due to political activities, Dr Badie stressed in his inaugural address the need for gradual reform based on dialogue and non-violence. This is seen as a response to recent arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, and increasing pressure from the Egyptian government.

Head of a Leading Islamic Reform Movement
The Brotherhood has historically advocated political activism and charity work with a dis tinctive take on Islamic law, stating that apostasy should not be punishable, rather permitted as a freedom to all Muslims. With a firm belief that constitutional reform is possible in Egypt, the Brotherhood encourages Muslims to be more proactive in staking their claims to a more representative and more Islamic government. The Muslim Brotherhood’s mission of political activism and economic development in Muslim countries is meant to be an internal process, without the interference of foreign entities. What makes the organization's work distinct and far more influential than other Islamic political parties is the emphasis on making faith a guidepost in all political endeavors and, importantly, neither a hindrance to political progress nor a deficiency. This has been both a source of massive support, and also criticism - critics saw that the use of 'Islam is the Solu tion' as a campaign slogan took away from the Brotherhood’s legitimacy as a political organization.

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